I am wanting to start using LDH in our dept. and am wondering if I can convince the majority into changing their thought process. Let me add that we are in a rural area, and no departments that might provide aid uses LDH. Should we make the switch?

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We have been using 4 inch for about 30 years and I can't tell you how many times I have loaded it back on the trucks.
I looked at the replies and I agree with most of them but if you do go to LDH shop around and go the extra money to get the lighter weight hose, your back will thank you in the years to come.
Those of us that commented on re-racking it aren't from volunteer fire departments. We were from DC and Baltimore where we lay out several times/tour. It's not just that it takes more effort, but it's that it takes time. In a busier city it's pretty essential that the engine gets back in service quickly, especially in a place like Baltimore with brown outs.
agreed captcityff there is a lot to be said of walking in someones boots and the point of laying out multiple times needs to be taken in. we have both 3 inch and 5 inch and work in a hydrated area mostly residential with some industry, the problem is we have one engine response with one man crew and vol. responding in personel cars. we used to have 3 inch only and the hydrants would not supply the water without a pumper at the hydrant like you have and we went to 5 inch for that and the fact that iso give us a lot more points for 5 inch. we have used it 3 time since we got it 5 years ago. once in a residental fire and 2 times at a warehouse. i do agree with you when you have a engine to the hydrant that 3 inch works and all of can barstool quarterback when we see multiple hose laid out at a fire and know that the first due didn't get the right size up, and i know its our job to be ready for everything but the citizens don't pay for that or we wouldn''t be understaffed or running old trucks. by the way the boys fussed about picking up the 5 inch all three times and it dosen't weigh but oz's more than 3 inch if you use the rubber 5 inch. i think you know the drill, love to fight fire but the fire is out when you pick up hose. keep the faith
What's the difference in picking up hose? For departments that drive over the hose to pick it up, they pick up hose at 5 mph, regardless of diameter. For departments with 3", they have to pick up dual lines if they want to flow anywhere near what 5" flows. I'm not buying that picking up 5" hose takes a significantly longer amount of time than picking up 3", unless the firefighters sandbag and want it to take longer.

If you're talking about going back in service -- how long does it take to go back in service from a defensive fire? A lot less if you can bring multiple 1000 gpm lines to bear. How many companies does it take to bring multiple 1000 gpm lines to bear? A lot more if you must use 3". Getting back in service when half the department is on a multiple alarm fire is much more time critical than getting back in service during normal times.

Even if it took twice as long to rack 5" vs. 3", which it doesn't, you're talking about 10 minutes per incident, and being familiar with both Baltimore and DC, I can say this going to take not more than 1-2 hours of time on the busiest of days, and usually not more than half an hour or so.
My department uses the 5" primarily but carries the 3" as a secondary. We are a rural department with 3 stations total, covering 2,600 square miles, and stretch across 3 counties.

The reasons we use LDH is for obvious Supply reasons due to:

Second due, if any, has some travel time
Target Hazards
Big Box (2nd alarm and beyond)

we use the 100' sections because the 50' sections come with more expense because of couplings and become more taxing during pressure testing.
When we reload we disconnect the LDH and lay them straight, eliminates the bubble effect with no kinks in them while reloading and decreases surface area making them "lighter".
LDH is a pain when it freezes although, rubber LDH isn't easy to bend.... hahaha
our 3" we load for a reverse lay, we utilize a hydrant bag with a double female in the case we would need to use it for supply instead (Different water systems, different hydrant connections... blah....)
lighter and easier to reload.... less volume when you need it... hell of a lot easier to use

brings me to another post completely getting into the "Shut up and get to work mode" so this ends --------------------------------------> here

LDH gives you a GREAT tool, even if you are in a rural area. If you have a long narrow drive, You can lay 1500' of 5" and pump into it with only 15 psi friction loss if there is no change in elevation. Most engines can easily be adapted to pump into 5" hose by adding a 5" Stortz fitting on the front officer's side 2 1/2" discharge. This is usually the shortest discharge pipe on most pumps, and the short distance will only give you minimal friction loss.
You can also extend your drafting access and make it faster with LDH and a Turbodraft appliance. That will give you up to 200' range from your water source for drafting, 10 times the distance with hard suction and with less problems.
Now loading 5" hose can be a P.I.T.A., but honestly, how many times will you have to lay all of it in a year? Most guys think about LDH and get the picture of a NYC or Chicago 5 alarm fire with spaggetti all over the place. The fact is you can move a lot of water with 5" hose, and if you have a water source within 2000', you can easily establish a good reliable water supply without jockeying tankers in and out of a tight spot. This will make things a bit safer as well. It's not a cure all, but it's way cheaper than a new tanker. Used together, it makes it easier to put wet stuff on the red stuff.
We don't use the jacketed hose, most around here use the "plastic" or rubber single wall type with Stortz fittings. Rarely have I seen any problems unless cause by abuse.
Catching up a bit so a little late for the discussion. I by no means am an authority on the topic but can share our experience. We are a suburban city with about 1800 hydrants but we also have approx 20% outside of the hydranted area and some unhydranted McMansions. We also protects a number of lake cottages down really restrictive lanes due to small roadways, tight turns, and overgrowth. We began using 4" in the early 90's and the change was strongly resisted but eventually it became the way we did things and surrounding departments went to 5", we bought adapters. In 2007 as part of an ISO improvement from a 6 to a 3 we purchased 5" and saw a dramatic improvement in our water flows. We also bought water theives to allow reverse lays on very restrictive sites. Our experiences were this:
Rural/unhydranted areas: Dramatic improvement in water availability because the drop tank stays on the road. Tanker/tender emptying improved and total throughput improved. Within 3 weeks of putting the new hose on we had a remote fire. Drop tank went at a convenient site and we fed our attack engine much easier than before. We began to apply many of the techniques we use more frequently when water is unlimited i.e. hydranted area.
Hydranted areas: Significant improvement in water flow and no longer lay more than 1 supply line, we actually pick up less hose! I'm happy since I'm usually in the middle of that evolution. We have the thief and are ready to use it to supply lines to the C side of our commercial/downtown occupancies where alleys make placing an engine impractical but the biggest change is we are now able to take full advantage of a strong water system. Before it (water system) was used as an excuse not to improve hose size but the larger hose dispelled all the myths.
Implementation: We trained for 3 consecutive days by dropping the 4" beds and flowing max water, then hooking up the new 5" hose and doing the same. Side by side the guys were happy to reload the 5" once they'd seen the difference. Change is hard but a friend once shared this "If you keep doing what you've always done, you're always gonna get what you've already got" To improve we have to change. as far a pickup, it's heavier but reloading always sticnks so you don't notice the difference and we have dramatic improvements in fireground water.
I'm just a firepup having only been on the job for 12 years but I've seen it work and encourage others to at least try it in your area and evaluate it fairly.
What is your hydrant pressure like?
Chris, thanks for asking. We have a great relationship with both of our water utilities. For about 190 hydrants we have mains down to 2" but no hydrants on anything smaller than a 4" The pressures in this area are about 60 pounds static and residual is variable depending on if the hydrant is on a 4", 6", or larger main up to 12"
The 1600 or so other hydrants are on the municipal system and we have static pressures of 50-110 pounds and while we have 63 hydrants on 4" mains (pre 1960's) the majority of our hydrants are on larger mains and all new ones are on 8" or larger and we are very fortunate to have a strong system with strong residuals.
I don't want to cloud the issue though, while LDH can allow you to maximize a strong systems capabilities it can also help capture some unrealized potential from a marginal or weaker system. Don't know about your system but if it takes X amount of pressure to overcome friction loss in 2" or 4" hose then you lose the difference in flow. I am a long way from any references (currently deployed to Afghanistan) so I can't give you real numbers but say it takes an extra 10 pounds to overcome friction loss in your hose due to a smaller size, then that is like lowering the nozzle pressure 10# at the end so for a 2" it may be 100 or so gpm, for 4" it may well be several hundred gpm.
There's a lot of math to support it but I am always sceptical when someone comes at me with a calculator, please borrow some from a neighbor, lay it beside your current hose and see the difference, everything else is just pixiedusted stories. Best wishes and be safe brother.
It is a wonderful tool until you have to pick it up...We use it as often as possible it really works well.
We talk about my house alot in training. My house is 1000 ft off the road. We have 800 ft of 5" on each pumper. We take 2 pumpers & 3000 gl tanker to house fires. First truck in drops his 800 ft ,second truck puts down 200 ft and stay's @ the road where the drop tank will be & pumps to the first truck. first truck has 1000 gl , 2nd truck has 1250 gl & it will take most of that just to fill 1000 ft of 5" .Tanker put down drop tank that holds 3000gl an goes for more. By that time mautal aid should be getting close, with 4 more tankers. There is no where to turn trucks around in my driveway. I dont think you could supply 1st truck with 3" on that long of span. We have 5/5 iso rate hauling water.Go with the 5" & hope you dont have to use it much, just once a year for hose test. We are a rural volunteer dept. we just cover about 1800 homes . We may have 15 or 20 hydrants

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